The first full trailer for Castle Rock, a Hulu Original series, was just released – and more tantalizing horror tidbits are packed into its two-and-a-half minutes than some full-length features can manage. Taking inspiration from multiple works from the Stephen King universe, Castle Rock has been a bit of a mystery to viewers. The new trailer, released this week, finally gives us a sense of what the show will actually be about.
The trailer opens with investigators interrogating “The Kid”, played by Bill Skarsgård, whom you may remember as Pennywise from last year’s hit adaptation of IT. The Kid has appeared in the Shawshank Prison, despite there being no records of his existence or his crimes. It seems that Castle Rock will follow Henry Deaver’s (André Holland) attempts to free The Kid – or at least figure out why and how he’s in jail.
In seemingly every second of the trailer, another reference to one of King’s beloved nightmares flashes across the screen. From a glimpse of balloons at an open house and shots of water and blood going down drains, to a newspaper clipping about to a violent dog, the Castle Rock trailer is a huge Easter egg hunt for Stephen King fans.
Watch the trailer below, then scroll down to see how many of the references you caught.
Although Henry Deaver and The Kid are new characters to the King universe, the pair soon encounter other characters (and actors) with ties to Stephen King’s work. Deaver interacts with Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn), the now-retired sheriff of Castle Rock. He’s a character from two King novels, Needful Things and The Dark Half, both of which also became movies in the ‘90s. Pangborn was a central character, investigating a creepy shop owner in Needful Things and violent murders inflicted by a secret alter ego in The Dark Half.
The trailer shows a flash of the sign for the Juniper Hill Asylum, a frequent setting in the King world. Juniper Hill is referenced in 10 of King’s novels, including Gerald’s Game, The Tommyknockers, and Bag of Bones and is called home by some of King’s most terrifying creations. Of course, Castle Rock itself and Shawshank Prison are also iconic King locales.
Related: 10 Scariest Stephen King Movies
The next Easter egg comes in the form of an old newspaper headline that Deaver looks at, “Rabid Dog Tears Through Town.” The clipping is a reference to the 1983 horror film Cujo, based on King’s novel of the same name, which centers on a murderous dog who terrorizes a small town.
King’s works aren’t the only things that return from his universe in the Castle Rock trailer. Sissy Spacek, Carrie herself, plays Deaver’s adoptive mother, and Melanie Lynskey (from King’s 2002 miniseries Rose Red) plays a sickly realtor. Terry O’Quinn from Silver Bullet (based on the lesser known King story, Cycle of the Werewolf) and Chosen Jacobs from IT will also star in the series. Jane Levy has also been cast as Jackie Torrance. It’s unclear how much bearing this crossover star power will have on the series, or even how directly Castle Rock will be based on any particular King novels, but we’re looking forward to one terrifying ride.
Castle Rock premieres on Wednesday, July 25th.
Feature still of 'Castle Rock' via Bad Robot